Dapple, the knitted dress, is done!

So my Dapple is finished. Many hours and 13 balls of yarn later, and all I've got is a whopping big case of CPA, otherwise known as Completed Project Apathy.

I really cannot figure out if I like this dress or not. Even though the dress is fitted, I feel like I'm drowning in it. The baggy sleeves certainly don't help! When I first saw the photos my initial thought was "Oh my word, I'm wearing a big purple cabled sack!", so I scurried over to the mirror to double-check the sackiness, but didn't think it looked too bad. Maybe it's one of those outfits that look better in real life? And let's face it, I'm no model! Maybe if I had legs up to here, was better endowed in the bosom department and learnt how to do my hair properly I would rock it, but at the moment it's more Cable Loss than Kate Moss.

On the plus side, I love the colour, and the cables are pretty cool. But then again the neckline is way too wide for me, and the overall design silhouette makes me feel a lot wider than I actually am. Gah! Do I like the darn thing or not? I think it definitely needs a belt, to break up the upper width.

It also didn't help that the cable pattern graph in the book was wrong. But no problem - there was an errata insert that gave the correct graph symbols. Except, darn it, they were wrong too! I spent a couple of hours swatching, exclaiming at intervals "What am I doing WRONG? I know I can be a dunderhead a times, but surely I'm not that stupid!" Finally I jumped onto ravelry and discovered that the errata was also incorrect. D'oh! So if you want to make the dress, the corrections for the cable pattern can be found here. Nobly I have suffered so you don't have to. You can thank me later. Chocolates are always nice.

So that, my friends, is the tale of Dapple. Well, I guess you win some and you lose some. That's the problem with knitting - a whole lot of work can go into a project, only to find the final result is more "meh" than "look at meeeee!" At least with sewing projects you can more easily try things on as you go, and it's usually only a couple of days work down the drain if it doesn't work out, rather than weeks for knitting.

The more I look at these photos the more undecided I feel. Keep? Unravel? eBay? Can. Not. Decide. At. All. I feel I ought to like it just because there is over 1.1 kilometres of yarn in the darn thing!
Ok, over to you: thumbs up or thumbs down? Be kind - this whole Dapple drama has left my knitting ego feeling rather fragile!

Dapple #1

Dapple #2

Dapple #3

Project Details
Pattern: Dapple by Kim Hargreaves, from the book Nectar
Yarn: 13 balls of Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran in shade 0226, purchased from Sunspun
Needles: 4.5mm, 5mm straight needles and 4mm and 4.5mm circular needles

Tanya  – (10:52 am)  

It definitely does NOT make you look wide as you say.

The sleeves and the neckline are not really my style, what do you do about a bra? That would annoy me. And because I assume this is to be worn in winter, you'll be warm with a cold neck?

If I'd made it I would definitely keep it, because gosh darn it I MADE IT and that makes up for any deficiences at all.


I love it, it looks gorgeous, the colour is rad and the cables are to die for. I just want to reach into my monitor to give them a squish, if that's not too creepy for you.

MsDriver  – (10:55 am)  

Great dress - well done!

Jorth!  – (10:56 am)  

Thanks Tanya!

I think strapless bra is the way to go, as the neckline does slip a little, which bugs me too. As for winter wear, I think it's more of a 'sit in a warm restaurant' kinda dress. Or to be worn on perfect sunny autumn days, with coat handy nearby for when the chill sets in.

As for your last sentence - you can squish my cables anytime!

Andrea F  – (10:57 am)  

I think it looks awesome!

Love the colour, love the cables!

But I agree with Tanya, for winter, your arms and neck might get a little cold. The things we do to look good.

Fashionista  – (11:02 am)  

God damn that colour is good on you. It looks great however we can all say that until the cows come home, if you are not comfortable wearing it, it makes not a jot of difference.

So what to do. Have you considered layering a turtleneck underneath? That would cover your neck/shoulders/decollete and give a different visual (and allow proper bra wearing).

I am in awe of your knitting skills.

Carolyn  – (11:17 am)  

This dress is amazing! DEFINITELY wear it! Yes- the sleeves are wide but they add an interesting contrast to the tighter fit around your body. Think of them as bell sleeves! Also with the neckline- have you thought about stitching on some bra strap carriers to your dress (DixieDIY did a great tutorial on this recently). That way- when you wear a normal bra- it will hold your neckline in place. If you wore a strapless- your bra wouldn't be seen- but the neckline may still slip about.

Jorth!  – (11:25 am)  

Excellent idea, Carolyn! I should absolutely do that, as slippy necks suck rocks big time!

Pixie  – (11:28 am)  

OMG It's amazing! You had me for a minute there with all you hem ha-ing.....but then I scroll down and see the pics. Yes, make some bra keeper thingies, or wear a singlet/slip and do that whole sexy sliding off the shoulder thing. If you were in a photo shoot in that dress you'd be lounging about like that in front of a roaring fire with books and wine. Wear it, you hear us? wear it.

cmg  – (11:37 am)  

I agree that it would be cute layered over a tank or slip. It's also cute as is!! If you think the sleeves are too wide, could you use your sewing skills to alter them?

thewallinna  – (11:40 am)  

Oh dear! I don't know how you do it! All this time invested in the dress and especially patience! If I had to deal with a wrong pattern I would, firs,t destroy half of my apartment and then kill somebody. It's so different with a knitting project vs sewing, when you have to wait until the end to see the final result which might not be the same as you pictured in your head. Isn't it what happened to you? But I promise you that this dress does look so good on you that neither Kate Moss nor Nicole Kidman could look better in it! Don't you just like how it opens your collar bones? So sexy! And you can play around with wearing scarfs and necklaces and long ear-rings to make it even more stunning.

BusyLizzie  – (11:52 am)  

This looks amazing, definitely keep it, do not unravel it! It looks great and does not make you look wide, perhaps if you stand front on with your legs apart you might look wide, but who wouldn't?! Fabulous tidy even knitting too, perfect!

Clare Maree  – (11:55 am)  

I see what you mean about the sleeves, but the overall silhouette of the dress itself looks lovely on you. I was going to suggest the same thing as Fashionista, that you could perhaps wear a thin black turtleneck underneath. The colour is divine and I have definite cable envy.

SewJillian  – (1:43 pm)  

Oh my lord, your knitting skills! WOW! I feel your pain, it's hard to know how a knitted garment will truly end up and that's what has made me take so long to come over to the knitting side. I really like it on you and at the risk of sounding redundant I agree with the other commenters, especially Carolyn's advice re bra strap holders. I was going to suggest the same. I am about to start knitting my first sweater and I have fear!

Jorth!  – (1:46 pm)  

Hi SewJillian

Best of luck with the sweater - I say feel the fear and do it anyway!

Darby  – (2:01 pm)  

I love the colour, your knitting is divine and it certainly does not make you look wide. The only part I am not sire of is the sleeves, I thin they would make your whole silhouette slimmer if they were fitted like the rest of the des. The additional room does not seem flattering. Can you sere the excess off to save knitting? Blasphemy I know ;-). My thoughts at any rate. Looks gorgeous though.

Kathryn  – (4:39 pm)  

Wow! Amazing! I love the neckline, the sleeves, the cables, the colour. It's all good.

Sue  – (4:46 pm)  

The dress does look amazing but I dont like the neckline at all as I could just imagine it slipping down all the time. The color really suits you too!

/anne...  – (5:08 pm)  

The body of the dress fits _perfectly_ - but if it was mine (sorry!), I'd unpick and reknit the sleeves, and possibly pick up the body stitches as well and make the neckline smaller (just keep doing the raglan decreases for a few more centimetres).

But I once knitted a jumper three times before I was satisfied. And I've ripped out a few jumpers from When I Was Fat to reknit much smaller, because I love the yarn too much to sent them to the op shop (ok, two were my handspun, so more investment, but still... a Bit Obsessive). :-)

Aline  – (5:56 pm)  

I agree with /anne about the sleeves. I love the way the body fits, the color is amazing and the cables are beautiful. But the sleeves, I wouldn't feel comfortable in those either. My first thought about the neckline was that I would like to see some straps, to "break it a little" (that's a Dutch expression, I'm not sure whether it's correct English, but hope you understand what I mean). A camisole for instance, with straps not too small, so you can easily wear a bra underneath.
To be honest my initial thought was to get rid of the sleeves at all, they are a bit out of balance, and just keep the neckline as a sort of yoke, maybe add one or two inch to keep the dress in proportion. I am not sure whether that would work though, so re-knitting the sleeves and make them tighter would definitely improve the dress, IMHO. The body, must say it again, absolutely gorgeous. (I know the feeling, that it's just not what you expected, it sucks, especially with the amount of work that went into it. Good luck with your decision.)

Sew Brunswick  – (7:32 pm)  

Definitely a keeper! It's a bit different to your usual style and it's good for you to try something different. I say put some bra carrier strips in and wear it. But without a belt. I love it as is.

Jane  – (8:10 pm)  

I think it looks snuggly and lovely, and the sleeve looseness just adds to the snuggly factor. The neckline I think looks great in the photos but I can imagine might be just slippy and irritating all day. With your fab knitting skillz could you re-do the neckline a bit, somehow? (Also I think maybe your impression of this dress is tainted by the experience of the pattern errors, which have no bearing on the awesome end result.)

Julie  – (9:13 pm)  

What's not to like ? The colours great, the dress is amazing and you look fab in it.

Roxy  – (9:32 pm)  

Oh I LOVE this. If you don't want it I'll take it of your hands any day! I think it looks amazing on you and is definitely a keeper! Especially after all that hard work.

Fer  – (9:53 pm)  

Oh... my.... you look absolutely STUNNING!!! Please please please wear this dress as much as you can!

Stitching At Stone Cottage  – (10:16 pm)  

Divine..gorgeous colour. The dress and neckline look gorgeous. I agree the sleeves are shapeless , could you get the sewing machine about and slim them down a tad. They're a great length though..
Definitely a keeper! Gosh you knitted that quickly!
Well done

Faygie Fellig  – (10:31 pm)  

sleeves made smaller with a sewing machine. open cast-off around neck and add more length till you are comfortable. problems solved! its too gorgeous and unique to let go. awesome work of patience.

limescented  – (12:42 am)  

The cables on the body are beautiful, but I agree the sleeves are not quite flattering. More than the sleeves themselves, I feel the neck/shoulder line can be made more flattering. How about unravelling just the garter neckband, and continuing to work the raglan lines a little bit higher? And then knit the garter neckband again. It's the wide, shallow neck which really creates the widening effect.

Otherwise the colour, fit and cables are just perfect!

Rachel  – (3:37 am)  

I really like it. I think you look FABULOUS in it and it does not look like a sack to me. If it makes you feel better, you could belt it, but I think it is great just like it is. I knit and I know the feeling of feeling "meh" about a project you spent weeks on, but you should not feel "meh" about that dress. You look very stylish.

Craft Sanctuary  – (4:14 am)  

I, personally, have the same problems with knit dresses like this. I love the way they look on others (and you, btw) just not on me because I don't like the way I look in them. So, I totally understand where you're coming from. BUT, I say keep it because I think you look great :)

sarahp  – (8:59 am)  

It's fab, but why not try it with a silk scarf around the neck?

I think it's less that the dress swamps you, but it's so amazing that it really draws all the visual focus.

~ Kim ~  – (9:32 am)  

Fabulously knitted dress. The colour is divine and you look great in it. All the hours you put into it are well worth keeping and wearing. Not sure about the bra situation, perhaps do knit those holders in a nude colour or something.

Nichola Prested  – (4:46 pm)  

I think it's the neckline that isn't right. Could you reknit the yoke and add a little extra to stop it falling off your shoulders? Doing that would give you extra to hide your bra straps too.

Cornelia  – (5:39 pm)  

You could frog the sleeves and knit them tighter. Or maybe just machine them narrow, reinforce the seam allowance on the inside and then cut the excess width off.
It's not just the width of the sleeves, but that they hang poorly, with several wrinkles/ripples. Is the armhole a bit low? I think the neckline is quite low as well; it would drive me nuts, but some may care for it.

sallie oleta barbee  – (9:16 am)  

Are you kidding me!! Thumbs UP!! This is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! The color is killer, and I'm just stunned by those beautiful cables! I think you look dynamite in it!

Tiffany  – (11:15 am)  

I just found your blog (through reading through old Whip Up tutorials...), and what a post to 'meet' you through. This dress is awesome! The colour is great, and it looks wonderful on you. [If you find the neckline falls down, what about adding crocheted chains, a single one or maybe a web pattern, on the upper back to keep the dress more together?? Honestly, though, I think it's nice as is.]

... Maybe this is too much too soon, but I'm inspired to say: you're beautiful, and I'm so glad you're smiling in these pictures. I see so many pictures of bloggers looking away or down, unsmiling, etc., and the third picture here was the perfect antidote. My heart lifted while reading this post.

And, um, you knitted a DRESS. Wow.

Miss  – (10:49 pm)  

It looks fab to me - I don't see no sack! A work of wearable art. Perhaps it's roomier than the fave vogue shift dress, but perfect for winter - for a top underneath, and some boots. LOVE IT and you look great. Please don't unravel!

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